I find that when I surrender to what life presents, there is certainly an opportunity for new awareness
and a shift of perspectives. My email footer ends with a quote that I always loved from Jane Austen that reads
“One cannot have too large a party”. The thought of creating a big bash is simply so invigorating and exciting to me
…lots and lots of people and pomp… this planner’s delight. The irony is that this past weekend, I experienced
a celebration with my couple that was simplified and yet deeply powerful and as delightful as one could imagine.
I’d love to share my perspective and a few highlights of Kiersten and Andrew’s wedding day:
a day and night in the midst of these times when 23 people lived in the present moment
and left the spinning world behind to embrace each other in love and hope.
In terms of prepping for a wedding day, this intimate gathering required far fewer line items.
Therefore, Friday and Saturday to-do’s afforded time to process and plan for a safe celebration and to create a quieter order for the day. As the pieces came together, from rental deliveries to packing up our supplies, printing timelines and dressing the tables, it was all a much slower motion than the typical setups and there were no blurred lines.
With each step and process, there was a luxury of mindfulness that is challenging to hold when there are
many more moving parts and participants. I even took time on Friday night to put my feet up, sit on our porch,
and answer emails for Monday’s business day. Crazy, right?!
Kiersten and Andrew’s wedding hit some real personal high notes for me even before they decided to scale back their day to include just their immediate families and grandmothers, Kiersten's Maid of Honor, Jordyn, and a few friends that played and sang in their ceremony and a cousin that videotape the day. And of course this included, Tucker,
best friend of Bobby (Andrew’s brother and Best Man), who aided and assisted in all preparations from after party firewood deliveries to tractor repairs and so much more. A very special guest of honor, Bishop Barres from the Diocese of Rockville Center, New York (long time college friend of Andrew’s father, Robert) officiated the ceremony at our parish church, Immaculate Conception in Amenia and enjoyed a reunion with a family he had known since it's conception.
Last, but certainly not least, Clover (Andrew and Kiersten's sweet and almost-no-longer-puppy) joined for
her cameo appearance during cocktails to congratulate her mom and dad with exuberant licks and wags.
For me, being hired as a wedding planner by a couple whose family happened to be our neighbors, whose children
I watched grow up and whose lives were documented in very well written Christmas letters that we received each December, who were fellow parishioners, who lived by similar values and standards as ours, who were getting married in the same church as their parents had and where our daughter received her sacraments, celebrating
at a family farm where we once purchased many a tree for our property AND who had a bishop at the helm,
created for me a set of circumstances that felt like home and comfort in every sense of the words.
I have to add that this family was totally hands-on and they stepped up in true Doar–Barr–Schroeder fashion and embraced the getting-ready phase with gusto, grit and good humor. You could tell by their assembly of troops that this was no new drill. Regardless of the scale of this wedding, they would have gotten the work done and on-point,
but now having a smaller scope, the process felt a bit more eased and therefore allowing for a less intense march.
When their big wedding day turned into a smaller wedding day, Kiersten, Andrew and I were able to extract
the details that were most important to them from Plan A and sprinkle in a few more details that felt poignant and purposeful for this Plan B. The picturesque setting of a long row of farm tables under a canopy of bistro lights and
a giant elm tree, flanked by the perfect little pond and a well-pruned pine grove, was the perfect backdrop for adding
just the right touches: many more votives, a few more floral arrangements to fill the more opened seating plan,
a beautiful set of linen napkins that they can now use for many years to come in their home, and lovely place setting cards adorned with custom calligraphy and sprigs of delicate dried lavender to welcome each guest at their seat.
As my optimistic and sweet bride Kiersten said at our meeting day when they announced the change of plans,
“What bride gets to wear her wedding dress twice?”
In every sense, less was certainly not less, and positivity prevailed in each and every step forward.
From the ceremony throughout the celebration, I was in awe of the depth and gravity of their day.
The current lens of our lives truly placed so much more significance on every moment.
I cried more (for one thing), I took time to breath more (for another thing),
and I felt an overwhelming joy for this darling couple, their parents and families
who had set their sights on a wedding that was-to-be on July 25, 2020 (regardless)
and who came together so cohesively and beautifully to see that vision through their way!
Congratulations Kiersten + Andrew
Many, many, many wishes and blessings for an exceptional life together in love, in good health and in fun!
Cheers to Part 2 | July 23, 2021
A special thank you to our creative and dedicated team of professionals & artisans!
Photography: Undressed Moments | @undressedmoments
Catering: The Farmer’s Wife, Ancramdale, NY | @farmerswifeny
Florists: Lara Schroeder of Silamar Farm + Alexandra Hunters of Crooked Oak Farm | @laraschroeder769 @Silamarfarm @CrookedOakfarm
Rentals: Columbia Tent Rentals | @columbiatentrentals
Calligraphy: Marjorie’s Letters | @marjoriesletters
Linens: TL at Home | @tlathome
Printing: Moore & More Printers, Millerton, NY
...and of course my amazing assistants, Maggie & Amelia!